explaining garbage

I am beginning to worry about the things our kids are going to ask about some of the commonplace practices of our generation and blind acceptance of their impact on the future?

Looking at the clear lack of foresight and long term impact analysis in the way we behave, I bet there are going to be some pretty serious questions for which we may not have the answers.

As elementary curricula begin more actively engaging students in their carbon footprints and understanding the effects of their consumption on global warming and the environment.

- I think we should all get on the same page here.

Likely the most confusing practice these future generations will question about is our approach to waste.
Questions about garbage specifically will be one area that we are going to have a tough time explaining our way out of. Although the practice stems from before our time, we will inevitably have to answer how we actually bought into this concept. Because once you break it down, it is illogical.

I envision this conversation starting somewhere like:
K: Whats garbage?

And ending somewhere around:
K: So it all ends up in a big pile? But then it’s just there. Its not going anywhere… There is no away……

Eyes wide, mouth agape, this is where we need to insert our incredibly wise and excusable explanation for how we justify our unwavering faith in such a seemingly illogical practice.

Having had this discussion in my mind a few times now, there really is only one option when answering to this inquisition. this is of course ignoring the tempting and cowardly "we didn't know any better" because yes we knew that it would sit there forever and rot and pollute and shorten the lifespan of our planet. and we did it anyways.

I suppose the choice answer will come to me on the day of reckoning.

But until that, as I sit in mental purgatory I am repeating one thing to myself as I make purchase decisions.

There is no away.

What on earth we were we thinking?

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